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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Michigan-Florida: Random Thoughts

HART

I've always loved that kid. Gave 100% each and every time he touched the ball. And I never minded his mouth - until after the second fumble. Then, I must admit, even I got a little frustrated with all his talking during the game. Shut up and hold onto the damn ball.

An overreaction? Hell, yes. He fumbled three times his entire career! But I was just so pissed to see a game that we were dominating potentially slipping away due to two fumbles inside the five.

ARRINGTON

Holyfuckingshitwow! His one-hander down the sidelines in the 4th and that behind-the-back beauty early were incredible catches. I really love how he has gotten his attitude straightened out after being in Lloyd's doghouse and has become one hell of a clutch player. Please don't go, please don't go, please don't go.

MIKE DeBORD

He's taken a lot of heat from all corners but he called one hell of a game. Really did. Although, I must admit in the 4th when I saw Henne start lining up under center and just start handing it off to Hart as Florida starting crowding the box because even they knew what was coming, I started to panic. I just kept thinking, Please don't go into a shell now. Keep playing to win.

Hell, DeBord was calling such an amazing game - which was so daring from the one he normally seems to call, I actually turned to my buddy and said that, in the wake of his recent dismissal by Rodriguez, you'd almost think he was using the game to audition for another job opening!

HENNE

He looked unreal. Simply unreal. I don't know if it was all him being 100% healthy finally or if the gameplan had just as much to do with it. He seemed to play most of the game out of the shotgun and just shredded the Gator D. Remember before the season when we heard much about Michigan installing the shotgun for this year (like it was some brand new invention)? But it didn't seem like we used it much at all except for obvious third and long situations. Yesterday, we used it on 1st-3rd and Florida didn't know what hit them. Again, was it Chad, the gameplan or a combo?

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

Speaking of Henne/DeBord, would folks call the offense we ran yesterday a "spread?" Sure looked like the NW/Non-mobile QB version of it.

TRICK PLAY CALLING

Anybody else have the sense that Lloyd almost told DeBord, "Uh, hey, what's that play on p. 78 of the playbook that we've never run? Let's run that. And the one on p. 105. And the one on page-- aw, fuck it. It's my last game. Run 'em all, Mikey. Run 'em all."

ENGLISH

Even though they allowed 35 points, I thought English also called a great game for the defense. They pressued Tebow all game, knocked him down a bunch and made a couple of big stops at the end of the game to seal the deal.

KICK-OFFS

Ok, I know it worked once, but I was going to kick in my TV set if we pooch kicked again and gave the Gators starting field position at the 45 once more. WTF?!

INJURY-FREE TEAM

I sure wish we could replay our final two games of the regular season with everybody healthy (and our staff coaching with the same "we have nothing to lose" attitude). *Sigh*

DO PUNDITS EVEN THINK BEFORE THEY SPEAK?

Watching ESPN afterwards, Lou Holtz and Mark May were talking about the LSU/OSU title game and Holtz was picking OSU based on their defense. He then said something like this, "Did you see what Michigan's offense did to Florida today? Over 500 yards. Ohio State held that same Michigan offense to 90-some yards for the entire game."

Uh, Lou, get a clue. No disrespect to OSU, but they didn't hold "that same Michigan O" to under 100 yards. They held a version of that Michigan offense - minus a healthy Hart, minus a healthy Henne during a game playing in a freezing rain - to those stats. To compare the two without the qualifier is like saying, Arizona held Oregon to such and such but neglecting to mention they did with Dennis Dixon sitting on the bench.

BUCK FANS ON THE MZONE

Really appreciated the outpouring of congratulatory comments yesterday from OSU fans here on the site. Very cool. And I'm still pulling for the Bucks and the Big 10 next week against LSU (although, I must admit, some of my Michigan friends I watched the game with are having a harder time setting aside their dislike even for the greater good of the conference).

CARR

How excited were you for him? I had perma-grin on my face after the game, and not just due tot he victory. As announcer after announcer mentioned, he really is a classy, classy guy. And, as is often overlooked due to recent struggles, a damn good football coach. Thus, I was so happy to see him get the "W" in his last game. Furthermore, I think Michigan fans are going to miss him more than they think. Which leads me to...

I REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT R2 & UM MAY STRUGGLE NEXT YEAR

Hart, Henne, Long, Crable and three starting DBs are gone for sure. Manningham and Arrington are probably gone. A new coach is coming in to install a brand new offense without the players he normally would use to run such a scheme.

Now, while Michigan fans would call for Lloyd's head if he came back and went 8-4 or 9-3 during the regular season next year, I unfortunately think we may be lucky to get that in Coach Rod's first year this fall. I think the transition is going to be tougher than folks know.

IF THE TEAMS HAD SWAPPED JERSEYS

If the game had played out play-for-play exactly as it did but with Michigan losing 41-35, how much you want to bet every post-game article would have been talking about how UM couldn't contain the Gator speed.

So where are all the articles today talking about Florida's lack of speed? Because the game could have/should have been a rout. But you won't see any of those articles because it goes against the preconceived myth that all SEC teams are fast, all Big 10 teams are slow. Which is just that: a myth perpetuated by lazy sportswriters and analysts that don't have an original thought in their heads so instead simply turn to convenient cliches.

KICKING

Amazing how our FG kicking went from one of the weakest parts of Michigan's game to one of its strongest at the end of the year. Well done, KC.

URBAN MEYER PRESS CONFERENCE

Anybody else see it? Was he implying he was going to can some of his coaching staff after the game? Sounded like it.

MISC. (even though, technically, that's what a Random Thoughts post itself is)

* Great AP story on Lloyd's last couple of days. The guy had access to practices, etc. Check out Holly Rowe's reaction and words. Pretty cool.

21 comments:

whetstonebuck said...

Nice summary for a bunch of random/misc. thoughts thrown against the wall to see what would stick. They all stuck. Fun reading.

Crabapple Buck said...

I was one of those Buckeyes pulling for UM to win. I want the Big Ten to look good in the bowls. After Wisconsin shit the bed vs. Tennessee I could see the MSM getting ready to villify the conference and perpetuate the speed myth. Congrats to Lloyd and staff for the good auditions. I predict you will wish they had stayed. I won't miss the yapper and his fumbleless streak. His next streak was pretty short. I hope he gets his degree, because he will need it in his next job, which will not be in football.

Katie said...

The thing about Hart that stood out for me in his 2 fumbles, he did not let it get into his psyche. How many times this season did we say we won because of Hart? Lots. This time we can say we won in spite of Hart! Maybe that is how it needed to be, because this was most obviously a team win. This entire team was on fire and came to win that game and it showed. I am not so quick to turn on Hart, if we had lost, my heart would have broken for him, because it truly would have been his fault (so to speak). But he stood tall and kept his head in the game. He needed to do that for the rest of the team and maybe, the talking is what he needed to do for the rest of the team as well.

Arrington - I echo you Yost....Please don't go!!!!

Tears welled in my eyes more than once after the game. Coach Carr will be missed more than we realize for many reasons. He is one classy guy and he deserved this win. He just did.

Urban Meyer - I do like that he has spoken well of Michigan of late, however - he has so little class, that was so awesome to beat him and Tebow!!!

I love that it was not a "lucky" win, we dominated them the entire 60 minutes and if not for the 4 turnovers, we would have routed them.

Next year. I am not thinking anything negative about that right now. It very well could be a transitional year and not a glorious year. Nevertheless, we do have a chance of it being a glorious year, and until they prove differently, that is what I am going to believe!

GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!

ps, the boys at MGoBlog were nice enough to let me hang out with them during the game. It sucks so much to watch the game alone, I might need to head downtown to a bar for away games next year, it is so much more fun to have someone to high five, even if it was the virtual kind!

kate said...

It was a thoroughly impressive game--I second the thought that it would've been nice to see them play with that "nothing to lose" attitude for the rest of the season. Coach Carr will definitely be missed. I wonder if he'll take that job in the AD...

In other news, was it just me or was it super annoying that they talked about Tim Tebow as if he should be a candidate for sainthood all throughout the game??

Katie said...

Kate, I was sick of it even before the kick off, I seriously contemplated finding the radio feed and turning the volume down on my TV. He does seem like a nice kid, but it was sickening to listen to.

srudoff said...

congrats!

not sure how you even stayed in the same ballpark with that sec speed.

hope we can do the same

congrats also on arrington's successful audition for the nfl execs - he'll go in the first round, as will manningham

Mikoyan said...

Well, let the announcers talk about Tebow all game, it makes the win that much sweeter. Although, I will admit, despite the turf in his helmet, he looked pretty good during the game. Not sure if he's quite worthy of all the praise, but I suppose the announcers have to pick on player to get their blow job from.

Bigasshammm said...

Well I must say that was the most exciting game I have seen since the Michigan St game back in 04, or whenever it was that Edwards caught the amazing touchdown grabs and went to OT and yada-yada. I was literally on my feet in my living room since the beginning of the second half. My wife was pretty upset with me due to my constant yelling and drinking as she was trying to nap being 7 months pregnant. Anyway what follows are my thoughts on the game.

On Mike Hart and his butter hands... I am actually glad to see Mike Hart graduate. Sure he was an amazing back at MI and has all the records and no one can ever take away his 5000+ yards but what really did he achieve? He constantly ran his mouth year after year and was never able to back it up in any of the tOSU games or bowl games. Also when he had his first fumble in yesterday's game it looked as if he was laughing about it on the sidelines. Idk what kind of person he is and if he just kept his emotions all bottled yup so he could then go home and beat his dog/wife/girlfriend or whatever but I'd like to have seen something on the sideline. Maybe a helmet slam or kick a bench or something. Then on the second fumble he was just clapping his hands harder and again really didn't seem to taken with the fact that he lost two fumbles in 2 quarters when he went all career with 3.

Arrington was a man among boys in the game. He clearly should have gotten game MVP. Without his dominance Henne would not have looked so successful and they would not have been able to win. Manningham has always been a lose cannon and somewhat unreliable and I'll be glad to see him go but Arrington has always shown good poise and balance in receiving.

Henne looked good I will give him that. He still killed himself in the NFL draft this year and I'll be surprised if he goes before the 3rd round and then if he ever makes it to a starter's position further in the NFL. For being as experienced as he is he sure does some stupid things sometimes and seems to panic.

2 things on the offense...
1) I can't help but think that maybe RichRod played a hand in orchestrating that offense. I haven't seen an offense like that in years at MI and it's odd that they would use it after hiring him and after a season of religious running to the left.
2) Also about RichRod if that game didn't show to Mallet that MI can run a spread offense with a non mobile QB then I don't know what will. With a couple speedy receivers and tailbacks Mallet could stand back there all day and deliver the ball for serious yards. MI does not need to run the option and I hope they never do.

Ron English's defense still sucks. Yes they had awesome pressure on Tebow the entire game but their secondary is just terrible. If not for the pressure on Tebow FL would have been able to pick apart the D like a trophy wife and your bank account. I'm glad to see him go but fear the 335 stack and what the future holds.

Lloyd was definitely a class act and I'd like to see him hired back into the AD somehow at some point. MI has become his life and he deserves a permanent home there. I would have been very pissed off had they not carried him off the field which he so deserved.

I guess that's all I have to say at the moment.
Go Blue.

Haines said...

Well said Yost! I sure hope AAir16 will stay for next year!

Why do you think they came out and played so hard and fast? I know the obvious answer is because LC was going out as well as the other coaches.

But I just dont see why these coaches and these players didnt take the same attitude into every game? Thats what the great teams (patriots, USC 04,05, Bucks etc...) do week in, week out!


Oh to hell with it anyways....

GO BLUE!! I was almost more happy to see the look on Urban CRYER's face as I was to see the look on LC face!

Johnny said...

Yost, well put. Lloyd made me straight up, fucking (excuse me) proud. It's really nice to have a pleasant New Year's Day for a change. I hope its good luck for the rest of the year. I could use some in my life.
I still don't like Rodriguez changing everything up completely. And I agree they may struggle (in the same vain as Neb., ND, etc.) But, I hope he was taking notes on the sideline from Lloyd on how to coach with dignity and heart.

Orlando Go Blue said...

I have to admit the "Lloyd" chant at the end of the game during the trophy presentation while he was speaking was one of the most emotional things ive been apart of. What a great win and a great way to send off such a class act.

Enrique said...

One more comment for #14 Matt Hornaday...

My roommate is a Florida alum and we've been building up to this game since it was announced. Just as soon as Harvin took the hand-off in the second quarter, he tells me how fast the guy is (and he is fast). But it was sweet, to see Hornaday from the opposite-side corner position run him down for the TD saving tackle. It was an actual TD saving tackle as that was the drive we blocked the FG.

UM was two fumbles away from making this game a blow-out!!!

Go Blue!

robert paulson said...

Despite what the moron announcers on TV told us all yesterday, Morgan Trent is not a senior. He's a redshirt junior. He'll be back next year. Morgan's bio

Unless Donovan Warren transfers, Michigan will return all of their top CBs next year.

MGoBlue93 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MGoBlue93 said...

I'm on the fence about Trent. I just about shot beer out of my nose earlier in the season when one of the ABC player introductions called him a shutdown corner. But, it was Trent yesterday who ran down Harvin -- from the other side of the field. Holy cow, that required some wheels.

Joshua said...

Trent beat Ginn in the 100 yard dash in high scoll i believe. That boy is not slow.

Joshua said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Enrique said...

I apologize, it was Morgan Trent (#14) that made the TD saving tackle.

Thank you mgoblue93.

MGoBlue93 said...

Did not know that about Trent and Ginn... I'm still blown away by that play he made... and then I get frustrated that Michigan played that well yesterday and just didn't run Hart into the line... and then I get excited again about the win. I think there might be a prescription which could help me out there.

Katie said...

93, Rx from Nursekatie:

Don't worry, be happy! :o)

Brent McD. said...

As a Longhorns fan, I must issue my congrats one helluva bowl victory. No way did I think Michigan would beat Florida. I'm not a Gator or Tebow fan at all, so this was especially sweet. I hope that Texas will orchestrate as nice a departure for Mack Brown someday (soon)....